If a poster asks a duplicate question, but explains in their post they are aware of the duplicate question and that the duplicate question's answer(s) does not answer their question, is it still a duplicate?

Are they expected to put up a bounty as per When is a duplicate question not a duplicate?

An example question is


As you can see, it's pretty much identical to the post they cite but, the OP does state that the answers in that post do not resolve it.

However, regardless of that instance, what should we do?

  • 1
    In this particular instance the user could use the bounty system, and put thier own custom message (of anything) into the bounty banner that shows. I suspect that classing all the things that go on as only "maintaince" could be limiting the question, there are other things that are speed-ups and optimisations , plus various programs that also do that type of thing, plus active AV scanners, and even viruses and malware. It it 10 blogs of info to entirely get the system under manuel control, plus the ramification of going back to manuel control.
    – Psycogeek
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 8:25
  • by using the word "maintainace", even vast improvement on the dupe question could leave out some items that go beyond that definition, items that may be why there is more activity than the user desires.
    – Psycogeek
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 8:31
  • 1
    What's annoying is when the OP of the new dupe says "The answers on the old dupe didn't work", and expand no further as to what they actually tried and what the results were. In those cases they most likely get a vote to close as dupe from me, since they didn't bother to articulate what their research revealed, or why their problem is different. Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


A more general response than to that specific referenced post.

"Take no prisoners" approach (not recommended)

The key word in "duplicate question" is "question", not "answer". Ideally, it would be nice to collect answers to a specific question in one place. On this basis, some people have said that if the question already exists, new answers should be directed there even if the existing answers don't answer the new question.

If the original question is old, chances are slim that it will be attracting new answers. How do you get new answers there?

  • Edit the old question to improve it and expand it to include the new question, which bumps it into the active questions list.
  • Post a bounty to attract new answers. New user with no rep? Out of luck.

This approach sort of sucks if there is not already a solution to the new question.

"Benefit of the doubt" approach (recommended)

Identifying duplicates serves two purposes:

  1. pointing the OP to existing answers that may solve the problem
  2. avoiding duplication and clutter on the site

The site priorities are:

  1. Get (good) questions answered and attract new (good) answers
  2. Curate the site

The first priority is way higher than the second, and we don't need to nit pick over how similar two questions are in order to accomplish the second priority.

Duplicate questions are rarely duplicates, they're "similars"; similar question and/or similar solution. If the existing answers on the original question don't answer the new question, then pretty much by definition, it is not a duplicate question. Identifying, in the new question, the shortcomings of the existing answers clarifies what makes it a different question.

Whose opinion counts as to whether the question is a duplicate? Initially, it doesn't need to matter. If the OP says the existing answers don't work, leave the question open to attract new answers, even if you're convinced that it's a duplicate.

After the question has attracted whatever answers are forthcoming (say three or four days), then assess the need for any site cleanup. If warranted, at that point, the question can be closed as a duplicate, along with the additional answers that probably would not have been posted had the question previously been closed. Or the question and additional answers can be merged with the other question. What if you end up with some duplicate answers? Super User will survive.

There might even be a surprising answer that illustrates that it really was a different question after all. It could happen.

  • Yes, I didn't vote to close for the reasons you put. +1
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 11:49
  • 2
    What is totally wrong sometimes (not applying to that question) is when a "question" is marked as a dupe, that is not a dupe. it is marked as a dupe because the Answer to that question IS indeed over there, even if that was not what was asked. I wish those questions would not be lost, just so they can be found when using a search engine. (not always just sometimes) I want to hop on it and say knock it off :-) but i know better. Plus of course your other great points, like It is a dupe of poop, completly useless pointer to no answer just because "it is a dupe".
    – Psycogeek
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 21:03
  • A "dupe to poop". Love it! That's gonna catch on.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 22:00
  • +42 @Psycogeek: [a new question] is marked as a dupe because the Answer to that question IS indeed over there [on the older question], even if that was not what was asked.  Exactly!  The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is not a duplicate of “What is 6×7?” Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 15:46

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